6 breakthrough questions
Everybody loves an ‘a-ha!’ moment. You’ve been struggling to get things right for a while and then it hits you. Yes, clarity is a great feeling – and something a business should never take for granted when it comes to their strategic direction. Especially when it comes to their 2020 marketing strategy.
Creating your 2020 marketing strategy is a great opportunity to regain clarity. You can clearly realign your goals. Then, map out how you’re going to get there. As you look towards the year ahead, you’ll use various insights to inform your strategy. From a 2019 performance review to predicting 2020 industry trends, you can start to build a clear picture of where to take your marketing.
But what about that ‘a-ha!’ moment with your marketing strategy? Yes, all of the above is great but to really dig deep and get into the nitty-gritty of what will work and won’t work, there are some key questions you need to be asking yourselves as a business. In this blog post, we explain those questions you should thrash out before confirming your marketing strategy for 2020.
1. Are your goals realistically attainable?
You want to grow your business. Ideally, you’d love to take on more clients and hire new staff? Being ambitious is imperative – it’s a common characteristic of successful business owners. However, being far-fetched and unrealistic will only leave you feeling unmotivated and lost when you inevitably don’t reach your goals.
Now, let us be clear – we are not saying don’t reach high. Instead, we are saying: be precise and be measured when setting your goals.
To do this, you need to determine what are your overall business goals are (i.e. growth?) and then determine what your marketing goals are. Marketing goals should be directly linked to marketing activities – such as website visitors.
Then, make your goals measurable. For business goals, this may be setting a benchmark for success. So if you want to take on more clients, determine how many exactly and make sure it’s realistic within your business set-up. Yes, taking 30 new clients on may sound amazing on paper but could your business handle it?
For marketing goals, many things you do will be measurable to a certain degree. Take digital marketing as an example. If you have a goal of more website visitors, think this through. Do you simply want to aim for a higher number? Or do you want to aim for increasing the time users spend on your website?
Getting really precise at this stage will give your 2020 marketing strategy a clear purpose.
2. What holds you back as a business?
Ouch. The sore point. No one likes the ‘what are your weaknesses?’ question – but it’s so very telling.
We’re not asking you this question to dwell on the negatives. It’s simply a way to identify your challenges – so your marketing can overcome them, or work around them.
Again, you can split this down into overall business and marketing specific.
Your team is stretched and never has time to write any of the articles you need for marketing? That’s a business weakness.
Your website is outdated and customers don’t like it? That’s a marketing weakness.
And then, the fact that your main competitor has a new shiny website coming soon – and lots of articles being published on a regular basis – that problem has combined to become a threat.
This is marketing 101. Conducting a SWOT analysis may be ‘old school’ but it’s stuck around because it works.
3. Will your target audience really like this?
You read a post on the internet last night – you were inspired! It said the next big thing for marketing is TikTok, a mini-clip video-sharing social media platform that is reminiscent of Vine. It’s due to take the marketing world by storm. You need to jump on this!
Or do you? Just because something has taken off certainly doesn’t mean it will work for your business – and your clients. In fact, if you’re in the B2B world we can make a big guess and say that it won’t work for you.
Why? Because simply your target audience is not there. They aren’t hanging out on TikTok – unless they are 11-16 year-olds who are looking to spend their money on consumer goods that claim to solve all the common pain points of adolescence.
Although it’s important to try new avenues – and sometimes you have to give things a go – really think whether your target audience will like it. If the answer is no, then simply don’t bother. Invest your time and money in marketing channels that work specifically for your target audience – such as writing informative articles that help your audience – getting them to trust and value you as an expert.
4. Is your customer journey clear?
As part of your marketing strategy, you’ve decided that LinkedIn will be a great way of connecting with your target audience. Great! But don’t stop there!
Once you’ve decided on a marketing channel, you need to map out the ‘buyer’ journey to understand how they get from a.) reading a LinkedIn post b.) becoming a paying client.
We have a great marketing funnel exercise to help you with this. Head over to section 4 of our marketing strategy guide & template to clearly see how to convert your target audience into clients.
5. Can you stick to this?
Let’s be real. Marketing is a resource-heavy and time-consuming task if you want to get it right. And if it falls down the priority list, then you shouldn’t be surprised when results don’t materialise.
Therefore, part of your strategy has to be whether you can realistically fulfil everything that you outline in your strategy.
For example, if your strategy is to send an email newsletter every month with links to interesting blog articles, you need to make sure you have the people and time to make this happen.
A good way to go about this is to think: efficiency. Can you create an efficient process to consistently deliver marketing? Your answer may be ‘no’ if you’re attempting to manage marketing internally.
Instead, outsourcing part (or even all) of your marketing can streamline the process and ensure consistent delivery.
At Starbots Creative, we know that consistency is key. Whenever we support a business with marketing, we can give you strategic recommendations and then clearly map the process needed to make this happen. So as a business you know exactly month-by-month what to expect.
6. Who is taking ownership?
Let’s talk basic psychology. If we tell someone we will attend a networking event, we are very likely to attend. If we don’t tell anyone, we may get distracted by ‘more important’ tasks and not attend. Because who will know we ever intended to go?
With your marketing strategy, it’s exactly the same. When we are accountable, we are simply more likely to do it. So, ask the question, “who is responsible for this?” and assign.
It doesn’t have to be for the full strategy as that wouldn’t work well. But instead, break it down into small tasks. So if content is a big part of your strategy, make sure you pinpoint a person who is responsible for managing content creation.
Or, choose to work with a strategic marketing agency – like us! We know how important it is to be responsible if you want to see results – and we’ll happily take marketing tasks off your hands and deliver them to meet your goals.
Ask the right questions, get the right answers
Albert Einstein famously said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the first 55 minutes determining the proper questions to ask.”
Of course, your life doesn’t strictly depend on what questions you ask in your marketing strategy. But perhaps your business’ life does?
And as we’ve told you the right questions to ask, we hope we’ve saved you at least 55 minutes of your time!
In all seriousness, asking these questions can take you from abstract-concept marketing strategy to your ‘a-ha!’-moment marketing strategy. Ultimately, you’re on a great path to seeing a return on investment for your 2020 marketing budget.
Make 2020 the year your marketing strategy works
The word ‘strategy’ has earned a bad rep recently – as at times it’s coined as a marketing buzzword with little substance. However, when you focus on what strategy really is then it can transform your marketing and truly allow you, as a business, to work towards your goals.
At Starbots Creative, we take strategy seriously – and give it the focus and attention it deserves. In fact, we’re really clear that when we put a strategy in place that’s when we can help you achieve your goals.
Marketing strategy workshops
If you want further help with creating your strategy, don’t hesitate to contact us – and ask us about our marketing strategy workshops.